Pre-Trial Chamber I commits Laurent Gbagbo to trial
Situation: Côte d’Ivoire
Case: The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo
On 12 June 2014, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed by majority four charges of crimes against humanity (murder, rape, other inhumane acts or – in the alternative – attempted murder, and persecution) against Laurent Gbagbo and committed him for trial before a Trial Chamber. Pre-Trial Chamber I is composed of Presiding Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Judge Hans-Peter Kaul and Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert who appended a dissenting opinion.
Laurent Gbagbo, former President of Côte d’Ivoire, was surrendered to the ICC on 30 November 2011 and he first appeared before the Pre-Trial Chamber on 5 December 2011. Following the confirmation of charges hearing (conducted from 19 to 28 February 2013), the Chamber, by majority, decided to adjourn the hearing and requested the Prosecutor to consider providing it with further evidence or conduct additional investigations. In accordance with an established calendar, the Chamber received additional submissions of evidence and observations by the Prosecution, the Defence and the victims’ representative.
The Chamber thoroughly examined all the evidence submitted to it by the parties, which included the statements of 108 witnesses, more than 22.000 pages of other documentary evidence, as well as a large amount of audio and video material. The Chamber found that there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that Laurent Gbagbo is criminally responsible for the crimes against humanity of murder, rape, other inhumane acts or – in the alternative – attempted murder, and persecution in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, committed between 16 and 19 December 2010 during and after a pro-Ouattara march on the RTI headquarters, on 3 March 2011 at a women’s demonstration in Abobo, on 17 March 2011 by shelling a densely populated area in Abobo, and on or around 12 April 2011 in Yopougon.
Mr Gbagbo is accused of having engaged his individual criminal responsibility for committing these crimes, jointly with members of his inner circle and through members of the pro-Gbagbo forces (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute) or, in the alternative, for ordering soliciting and inducing the commission of these crimes (article 25(3)(b) of the Rome Statute) or, in the alternative, for contributing in any other way to the commission of these crimes (article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute).
Subject to the right of the parties to request leave to appeal against the confirmation of charges’ decision, the Presidency of the ICC will constitute a Trial Chamber in due course.
“Ask the Court” audio-visual programme: Laurent Gbagbo case, 12 June 2014 (in French):
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].